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Eritrea vs. Sudan

Introduction

EritreaSudan
Background
After independence from Italian colonial control in 1941 and 10 years of British administrative control, the UN established Eritrea as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952. Ethiopia's full annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a violent 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating government forces. Eritreans overwhelmingly approved independence in a 1993 referendum. ISAIAS Afwerki has been Eritrea's only president since independence; his rule, particularly since 2001, has been highly autocratic and repressive. His government has created a highly militarized society by pursuing an unpopular program of mandatory conscription into national service – divided between military and civilian service – of indefinite length. A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. A subsequent 2007 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) demarcation was rejected by Ethiopia. More than a decade of a tense “no peace, no war” stalemate ended in 2018 after the newly elected Ethiopian prime minister accepted the EEBC’s 2007 ruling, and the two countries signed declarations of peace and friendship. Following the July 2018 peace agreement with Ethiopia, Eritrean leaders engaged in intensive diplomacy around the Horn of Africa, bolstering regional peace, security, and cooperation, as well as brokering rapprochements between governments and opposition groups. In November 2018, the UN Security Council lifted an arms embargo that had been imposed on Eritrea since 2009, after the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group reported they had not found evidence of Eritrean support in recent years for Al-Shabaab. The country’s rapprochement with Ethiopia has led to a steady resumption of economic ties, with increased air transport, trade, tourism, and port activities, but the economy remains agriculture-dependent, and Eritrea is still one of Africa’s poorest nations. Despite the country's improved relations with its neighbors, ISAIAS has not let up on repression and conscription and militarization continue.

The region along the Nile River south of Egypt has long been referred to as Nubia. It was the site of the Kingdom of Kerma, which flourished for about a millennium (ca. 2500-1500 B.C.) until absorbed into the New Kingdom of Egypt. By the 11th century B.C., a Kingdom of Kush emerged and regained the region's independence from Egypt; it lasted in various forms until the middle of the fourth century A.D. After the fall of Kush, the Nubians formed three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria, and Alodia, the latter two endured until around 1500. Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads, and between the 16th–19th centuries it underwent extensive Islamization. Egyptian occupation early in the 19th century was overthrown by a native Mahdist Sudan state (1885-99) that was crushed by the British who then set up an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan - nominally a condominium, but in effect a British colony.

Following independence from Anglo-Egyptian co-rule in 1956, military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but another broke out in 1983. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years followed by a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan. The referendum was held in January 2011 and indicated overwhelming support for independence. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011. Sudan and South Sudan have yet to fully implement security and economic agreements signed in September 2012 relating to the normalization of relations between the two countries. The final disposition of the contested Abyei region has also to be decided. The 30-year reign of President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR ended in his ouster in April 2019, and a Sovereignty Council, a joint civilian-military-executive body, holds power as of November 2019.

Following South Sudan's independence, conflict broke out between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states (together known as the Two Areas), resulting in a humanitarian crisis affecting more than a million people. A earlier conflict that broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, displaced nearly 2 million people and caused thousands of deaths.  While some repatriation has taken place, about 1.83 million IDPs remain in Sudan as of May 2019. Fighting in both the Two Areas and Darfur between government forces and opposition has largely subsided, however the civilian populations are affected by low-level violence including inter-tribal conflict and banditry, largely a result of weak rule of law. The UN and the African Union have jointly commanded a Darfur peacekeeping operation (UNAMID) since 2007, but are slowly drawing down as the situation in Darfur becomes more stable. Sudan also has faced refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and denial of access by both the government and armed opposition have impeded the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations. However, Sudan's new transitional government has stated its priority to allow greater humanitarian access, as the food security and humanitarian situation in Sudan worsens and as it appeals to the West for greater engagement.

Geography

EritreaSudan
Location
Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
north-eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates
15 00 N, 39 00 E
15 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references
Africa
Africa
Area
total: 117,600 sq km
land: 101,000 sq km
water: 16,600 sq km
total: 1,861,484 sq km
land: 1,731,671 sq km
water: 129,813 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
slightly less than one-fifth the size of the US
Land boundaries
total: 1,840 km
border countries (3): Djibouti 125 km, Ethiopia 1033 km, Sudan 682 km
total: 6,819 km
border countries (7): Central African Republic 174 km, Chad 1403 km, Egypt 1276 km, Eritrea 682 km, Ethiopia 744 km, Libya 382 km, South Sudan 2158 km

note: Sudan-South Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei region pending negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan

Coastline
2,234 km (mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km)
853 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually, heaviest June to September); semiarid in western hills and lowlands
hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Terrain
dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 853 m
lowest point: near Kulul within the Danakil Depression -75 m
highest point: Soira 3,018 m
mean elevation: 568 m
lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal Marrah 3,042 m
Natural resources
gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower
Land use
agricultural land: 75.1% (2011 est.)
arable land: 6.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 68.3% (2011 est.)
forest: 15.1% (2011 est.)
other: 9.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 100% (2011 est.)
arable land: 15.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 84.2% (2011 est.)
forest: 0% (2011 est.)
other: 0% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
210 sq km (2012)
18,900 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

frequent droughts, rare earthquakes and volcanoes; locust swarms

volcanism: Dubbi (1,625 m), which last erupted in 1861, was the country's only historically active volcano until Nabro (2,218 m) came to life on 12 June 2011

dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Environment - current issues
deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing

water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; water scarcity and periodic drought; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; deforestation; loss of biodiversity

 

Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993
the Nile is Sudan's primary water source; its major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, meet at Khartoum to form the River Nile which flows northward through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea
Population distribution
density is highest in the center of the country in and around the cities of Asmara (capital) and Keren; smaller settlements exist in the north and south as shown in this population distribution map
with the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated; more abundant vegetation and broader access to water increases population distribution in the south extending habitable range along nearly the entire border with South Sudan; sizeable areas of population are found around Khartoum, southeast between the Blue and White Nile Rivers, and througout South Darfur as shown on this population distribution map

Demographics

EritreaSudan
Population
6,081,196 (July 2020 est.)
45,561,556 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 38.23% (male 1,169,456/female 1,155,460)
15-24 years: 20.56% (male 622,172/female 627,858)
25-54 years: 33.42% (male 997,693/female 1,034,550)
55-64 years: 3.8% (male 105,092/female 125,735)
65 years and over: 4% (male 99,231/female 143,949) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 42.01% (male 9,726,937/female 9,414,988)
15-24 years: 20.94% (male 4,852,903/female 4,687,664)
25-54 years: 29.89% (male 6,633,567/female 6,986,241)
55-64 years: 4.13% (male 956,633/female 923,688)
65 years and over: 3.03% (male 729,214/female 649,721) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 20.3 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.8 years (2020 est.)
total: 18.3 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.5 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
0.93% (2020 est.)
2.69% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
27.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
33.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-11.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female
total population: 101 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 43.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 50.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 41.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 46.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 66.2 years
male: 63.6 years
female: 68.8 years (2020 est.)
total population: 66.5 years
male: 64.3 years
female: 68.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
3.73 children born/woman (2020 est.)
4.72 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.7% (2019 est.)
0.2% (2019 est.)
Nationality
noun: Eritrean(s)
adjective: Eritrean
noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Sudanese
Ethnic groups
Tigrinya 55%, Tigre 30%, Saho 4%, Kunama 2%, Rashaida 2%, Bilen 2%, other (Afar, Beni Amir, Nera) 5% (2010 est.)

note: data represent Eritrea's nine recognized ethnic groups

unspecified Sudanese Arab (approximately 70%), Fur, Beja, Nuba, Fallata
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
14,000 (2019 est.)
46,000 (2019 est.)
Religions
Sunni Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<500 (2019 est.)
2,300 (2019 est.)
Languages
Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages
Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 84.4%
female: 68.9% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 60.7%
male: 65.4%
female: 56.1% (2018)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 59 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2015)
total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2015)
Education expenditures
NA
2.2% of GDP (2009)
Urbanization
urban population: 41.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.86% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 35.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.17% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 73.2% of population
rural: 53.3% of population
total: 57.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 26.8% of population
rural: 46.7% of population
total: 42.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 99% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 87% of population
unimproved: urban: 1% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 13% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 44.5% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 15.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 55.5% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 84.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 72.1% of population
rural: 30.6% of population
total: 44.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 27.9% of population
rural: 69.4% of population
total: 55.1% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
963,000 ASMARA (capital) (2020)
5.829 million KHARTOUM (capital), 923,000 Nyala (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
480 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
295 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
39.4% (2010)
33.1% (2014)
Health expenditures
2.9% (2017)
6.3% (2017)
Physicians density
0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
0.26 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
5% (2016)
6.6% (2014)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
8.4% (2010)
12.2% (2014)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 83.9
youth dependency ratio: 75.6
elderly dependency ratio: 8.3
potential support ratio: 12.1 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 76.9
youth dependency ratio: 70.4
elderly dependency ratio: 6.5
potential support ratio: 15.4 (2020 est.)

Government

EritreaSudan
Country name
conventional long form: State of Eritrea
conventional short form: Eritrea
local long form: Hagere Ertra
local short form: Ertra
former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia
etymology: the country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation "Erythra Thalassa" meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country
conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan
conventional short form: Sudan
local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
local short form: As-Sudan
former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Sudan
etymology: the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the Black [peoples]"
Government type
presidential republic
presidential republic
Capital
name: Asmara (Asmera)
geographic coordinates: 15 20 N, 38 56 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name means "they [women] made them unite," which according to Tigrinya oral tradition refers to the women of the four clans in the Asmara area who persuaded their menfolk to unite and defeat their common enemy; the name has also been translated as "live in peace"
name: Khartoum
geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: several explanations of the name exist; two of the more plausible are that it is derived from Arabic "al-jartum" meaning "elephant's trunk" or "hose," and likely referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles; alternatively, the name could derive from the Dinka words "khar-tuom," indicating a "place where rivers meet"
Administrative divisions
6 regions (zobatat, singular - zoba); Anseba, Debub (South), Debubawi K'eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma'akel (Central), Semenawi K'eyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
18 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); Blue Nile, Central Darfur, East Darfur, Gedaref, Gezira, Kassala, Khartoum, North Darfur, North Kordofan, Northern, Red Sea, River Nile, Sennar, South Darfur, South Kordofan, West Darfur, West Kordofan, White Nile
note: the peace accord signed in October 2020 included a protocol to restructure the country's current 18 provinces/states into eight regions
Independence
24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day, 24 May (1991)
Independence Day, 1 January (1956)
Constitution
history: ratified by the Constituent Assembly 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented)
amendments: proposed by the president of Eritrea or by assent of at least one half of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least an initial three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and, after one year, final passage by at least four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly
history: previous 1973, 1998; 2005 (interim constitution, which was suspended in April 2019); latest initial draft completed by Transitional Military Council in May 2019; revised draft known as the "Draft Constitutional Charter for the 2019 Transitional Period," was signed by the Council and opposition coalition on 4 August 2019
amendments: NA
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
17 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President ISAIAS Afwerki (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly
head of government: President ISAIAS Afwerki (since 8 June 1993)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the only election was held on 8 June 1993, following independence from Ethiopia (next election postponed indefinitely)
election results: ISAIAS Afwerki elected president by the transitional National Assembly; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS  Afwerki (PFDJ) 95%, other 5%
chief of state: president (vacant); note - in August 2019, the ruling military council and civilian opposition alliance signed a power-sharing deal as the "Sovereignty Council," chaired by  General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN Abd-al-Rahman and consisting of 6 civilians and 5 generals; the Council is currently led by the military but is intended to transition to civilian leadership in May 2021 until elections can be held; General BURHAN serves as both chief of state and head of government
head of government: president (vacant); note - in August 2019, the ruling military council and civilian opposition alliance signed a power-sharing deal as the "Sovereignty Council," chaired by  General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN Abd-al-Rahman and consisting of 6 civilians and 5 generals; the Council is currently led by the military but is intended to transition to civilian leadership in May 2021 until elections can be held (Abd-al-Rahman)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister (2019)
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; last held on 13-16 April 2015 (next to be held in 2022 at the end of the transitional period); prime minister typically appointed by the president; note - the position of prime minister was reinstated in December 2016 as a result of the 2015-16 national dialogue process, and President al-BASHIR appointed BAKRI Hassan Salih to the position on 2 March 2017; on 21 August 2019, the Forces for Freedom and Change, the civilian opposition alliance, named Abdallah HANDOUK as prime minister of Sudan for the transitional period
election results: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR reelected president; percent of vote - Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (NCP) 94.1%, other (15 candidates) 5.9%
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly (Hagerawi Baito) (150 seats; 75 members indirectly elected by the ruling party and 75 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to form a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely due to the war with Ethiopia, and as of May 2019, there was no sitting legislative body
election results: NA
description: according to the August 2019 Constitutional Decree, which established Sudan's transitional government, the Transitional Legislative Council (TLC) will serve as the national legislature during the transitional period until elections can be held in 2022; as of early December 2019, the TLC had not been established
elections:

Council of State - last held 1 June 2015
National Assembly - last held on 13-15 April 2015
note - elections for an as yet defined new legislature to be held in 2022 at the expiry of the Transnational Legislative Council

election results:
Council of State - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 35, women 19, percent of women 35.2%
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NCP 323, DUP 25, Democratic Unionist Party 15, other 44, independent 19; composition - men 296 women 130, percent of women 30.5%; note - total National Legislature percent of women 31%
Judicial branch
highest courts: High Court (consists of 20 judges and organized into civil, commercial, criminal, labor, administrative, and customary sections)
judge selection and term of office: High Court judges appointed by the president
subordinate courts: regional/zonal courts; community courts; special courts; sharia courts (for issues dealing with Muslim marriage, inheritance, and family); military courts
highest courts: National Supreme Court (consists of 70 judges organized into panels of 3 judges and includes 4 circuits that operate outside the capital); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 justices including the court president); note - the Constitutional Court resides outside the national judiciary
judge selection and term of office: National Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges selected by the Supreme Judicial Council, which replaced the National Judicial Service Commission upon enactment of the Draft Constitutional Charter for the 2019 Transitional Period
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; other national courts; public courts; district, town, and rural courts
Political parties and leaders
People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ [ISAIAS Afwerki] (the only party recognized by the government)
Democratic Unionist Party or DUP [Jalal al-DIGAIR]
Democratic Unionist Party [Muhammad Uthman al-MIRGHANI]
Federal Umma Party [Dr. Ahmed Babikir NAHAR]
Muslim Brotherhood or MB
National Congress Party or NCP (in November 2019, Sudan's transitional government approved a law to "dismantle" the regime of former President Omar al-Bashir, including the dissolution of his political party, the NCP)
National Umma Party or NUP [Saddiq al-MAHDI]
Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]
Reform Movement Now [Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin al-ATABANI]Sudan National Front [Ali Mahmud HASANAYN]
Sudanese Communist Party or SCP [Mohammed Moktar Al-KHATEEB]
Sudanese Congress Party or SCoP [Ibrahim Al-SHEIKH]
Umma Party for Reform and Development
Unionist Movement Party or UMP
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires BERHANE Gebrehiwet Solomon (since 15 March 2011)
chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991
FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304
Ambassador Nureldin Mohamed Hamed SATTI (since 17 September 2020)
chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Natalie E. BROWN (since September 2016)
telephone: [291] (1) 120004
embassy: 179 Ala Street, Asmara
mailing address: P.O. Box 211, Asmara
FAX: [291] (1) 127584
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Brian SHUKAN (since September 2019)
telephone: [249] 18702-2000
embassy: Kilo 10, Soba, Khartoum
mailing address: P.O. Box 699, Kilo 10, Soba, Khartoum; APO AE 09829
FAX: [249] 18702-2547
Flag description
red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle; green stands for the country's agriculture economy, red signifies the blood shed in the fight for freedom, and blue symbolizes the bounty of the sea; the wreath-olive branch symbol is similar to that on the first flag of Eritrea from 1952; the shape of the red triangle broadly mimics the shape of the country

note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Vanuatu

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; colors and design based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I, but the meanings of the colors are expressed as follows: red signifies the struggle for freedom, white is the color of peace, light, and love, black represents the people of Sudan (in Arabic 'Sudan' means black), green is the color of Islam, agriculture, and prosperity
National anthem
name: "Ertra, Ertra, Ertra" (Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea)
lyrics/music: SOLOMON Tsehaye Beraki/Isaac Abraham MEHAREZGI and ARON Tekle Tesfatsion

note: adopted 1993; upon independence from Ethiopia

name: "Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)
lyrics/music: Sayed Ahmad Muhammad SALIH/Ahmad MURJAN

note: adopted 1956; originally served as the anthem of the Sudanese military

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2008
National symbol(s)
camel; national colors: green, red, blue
secretary bird; national colors: red, white, black, green
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Eritrea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Sudan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Economy

EritreaSudan
Economy - overview

Since formal independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced many economic problems, including lack of financial resources and chronic drought. Eritrea has a command economy under the control of the sole political party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice. Like the economies of many African nations, a large share of the population - nearly 80% in Eritrea - is engaged in subsistence agriculture, but the sector only produces a small share of the country's total output. Mining accounts for the lion's share of output.

The government has strictly controlled the use of foreign currency by limiting access and availability; new regulations in 2013 aimed at relaxing currency controls have had little economic effect. Few large private enterprises exist in Eritrea and most operate in conjunction with government partners, including a number of large international mining ventures, which began production in 2013. In late 2015, the Government of Eritrea introduced a new currency, retaining the name nakfa, and restricted the amount of hard currency individuals could withdraw from banks per month. The changeover has resulted in exchange fluctuations and the scarcity of hard currency available in the market.

While reliable statistics on Eritrea are difficult to obtain, erratic rainfall and the large percentage of the labor force tied up in military service continue to interfere with agricultural production and economic development. Eritrea's harvests generally cannot meet the food needs of the country without supplemental grain purchases. Copper, potash, and gold production are likely to continue to drive limited economic growth and government revenue over the next few years, but military spending will continue to compete with development and investment plans.

Sudan has experienced protracted social conflict and the loss of three quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan. The oil sector had driven much of Sudan's GDP growth since 1999. For nearly a decade, the economy boomed on the back of rising oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment. Since the economic shock of South Sudan's secession, Sudan has struggled to stabilize its economy and make up for the loss of foreign exchange earnings. The interruption of oil production in South Sudan in 2012 for over a year and the consequent loss of oil transit fees further exacerbated the fragile state of Sudan’s economy. Ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile states, lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture, keep close to half of the population at or below the poverty line.

Sudan was subject to comprehensive US sanctions, which were lifted in October 2017. Sudan is attempting to develop non-oil sources of revenues, such as gold mining and agriculture, while carrying out an austerity program to reduce expenditures. The world’s largest exporter of gum Arabic, Sudan produces 75-80% of the world’s total output. Agriculture continues to employ 80% of the work force.

Sudan introduced a new currency, still called the Sudanese pound, following South Sudan's secession, but the value of the currency has fallen since its introduction. Khartoum formally devalued the currency in June 2012, when it passed austerity measures that included gradually repealing fuel subsidies. Sudan also faces high inflation, which reached 47% on an annual basis in November 2012 but fell to about 35% per year in 2017.

(2017)
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$9.402 billion (2017 est.)
$8.953 billion (2016 est.)
$8.791 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$177.4 billion (2017 est.)
$174.9 billion (2016 est.)
$169.8 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
5% (2017 est.)
1.9% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
1.4% (2017 est.)
3% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$1,600 (2017 est.)
$1,500 (2016 est.)
$1,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$4,300 (2017 est.)
$4,400 (2016 est.)
$4,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 11.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 29.6% (2017 est.)
services: 58.7% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 39.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 2.6% (2017 est.)
services: 57.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
50% (2004 est.)
46.5% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 26.7% (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
9% (2017 est.)
9% (2016 est.)
32.4% (2017 est.)
17.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force
2.71 million (2017 est.)
11.92 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 80%
industry: 20% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 80%
industry: 7%
services: 13% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate
5.8% (2017 est.)
10% (2016 est.)
19.6% (2017 est.)
20.6% (2016 est.)
Budget
revenues: 2.029 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.601 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 8.48 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 13.36 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, light manufacturing, salt, cement
oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly, milling
Industrial production growth rate
5.4% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum Arabic, sugarcane, cassava (manioc, tapioca), mangoes, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds; animal feed, sheep and other livestock
Exports
$624.3 million (2017 est.)
$485.4 million (2016 est.)
$4.1 billion (2017 est.)
$3.094 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
gold and other minerals, livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small industry manufactures
gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum Arabic, sugar
Exports - partners
China 62%, South Korea 28.3% (2017)
UAE 55.5%, Egypt 14.7%, Saudi Arabia 8.8% (2017)
Imports
$1.127 billion (2017 est.)
$1.048 billion (2016 est.)
$8.22 billion (2017 est.)
$7.48 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat
Imports - partners
UAE 14.5%, China 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 13.2%, Italy 12.9%, Turkey 5.6%, South Africa 4.6% (2017)
UAE 12.7%, Egypt 10.6%, India 10.5%, Turkey 10.2%, Japan 7.6%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Germany 4.6% (2017)
Debt - external
$792.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$875.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$56.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$51.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
nakfa (ERN) per US dollar -
15.38 (2017 est.)
15.375 (2016 est.)
15.375 (2015 est.)
15.375 (2014 est.)
15.375 (2013 est.)
Sudanese pounds (SDG) per US dollar -
6.72 (2017 est.)
6.14 (2016 est.)
6.14 (2015 est.)
6.03 (2014 est.)
5.74 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
131.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
132.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
121.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
99.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$236.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$218.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$198 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$168.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$137 million (2017 est.)
-$105 million (2016 est.)
-$4.811 billion (2017 est.)
-$4.213 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$5.813 billion (2017 est.)
$45.82 billion (2017 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate

NA

13% (31 December 2017 est.)
12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$5.787 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.223 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$28.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$3.084 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.734 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.82 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$11.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$3.084 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.734 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.82 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$11.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
34.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
18.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-9.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-10.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 80.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 24.3% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 6.4% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 10.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -22.5% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 77.3% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 5.8% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 18.4% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.6% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 9.7% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -11.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
5.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
6% of GDP (2016 est.)
6.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
13.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

EritreaSudan
Electricity - production
415.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
13.99 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
353.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
12.12 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
95,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
9,440 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
19,540 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
5 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
84.95 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
160,700 kW (2016 est.)
3.437 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
99% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
44% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
51% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
94,830 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
4,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
112,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
8,541 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
3,897 bbl/day (2015 est.)
24,340 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
597,100 Mt (2017 est.)
16.03 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
population without electricity: 3 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 47% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 95% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 13% (2019)
population without electricity: 23 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 47% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 71% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 35% (2019)

Telecommunications

EritreaSudan
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 116,882
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.94 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 141,922
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 1,226,660
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20.36 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 34,198,859
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 77.11 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.er
.sd
Internet users
total: 78,215
percent of population: 1.31% (July 2018 est.)
total: 13,311,404
percent of population: 30.87% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: woefully inadequate service provided by state-owned telecom monopoly; most fixed-line telephones are in Asmara; cell phone use is limited by government control of SIM card issuance; no data service; only about 4% of households having computers with 2% Internet; untapped market ripe for competition; direct phone service between Eritrea and Ethiopia was restored in September 2018; government telco working on roll-out of 3G network; in 2019 11% mobile penetration (2020)
domestic: fixed-line subscribership is less than 2 per 100 person and mobile-cellular 20 per 100 (2019)
international: country code - 291 (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; despite economic hardships govt. boosts mobile infrastructure and builds fiber broadband network across country; economic climate has not encouraged growth in telecoms, but some investment has been made to build mobile towers and expand LTE services; launches its own Chinese built satellite in 2019 to develop space technology sector (2020)
domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, fiber optic, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; teledensity fixed-line less than 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 77 telephones per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 249; landing points for the EASSy, FALCON and SAS-1,-2, fiber-optic submarine cable systems linking Africa, the Middle East, Indian Ocean Islands and Asia; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 600
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
total: 31,352
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media
government controls broadcast media with private ownership prohibited; 1 state-owned TV station; state-owned radio operates 2 networks; purchases of satellite dishes and subscriptions to international broadcast media are permitted (2019)
the Sudanese Government directly controls TV and radio, requiring that both media reflect government policies; TV has a permanent military censor; a private radio station is in operation (2019)

Transportation

EritreaSudan
Railways
total: 306 km (2018)
narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2018)
total: 7,251 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 5,851 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations
Roadways
total: 16,000 km (2018)
paved: 1,600 km (2000)
unpaved: 14,400 km (2000)
total: 31,000 km (2019)
paved: 8,000 km (2019)
unpaved: 23,000 km (2019)
urban: 1,000 km (2019)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Assab, Massawa
major seaport(s): Port Sudan
Merchant marine
total: 9
by type: general cargo 4, oil tanker 1, other 4 (2019)
total: 17
by type: other 17 (2019)
Airports
total: 13 (2020)
total: 67 (2020)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 4 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
total: 17 (2020)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 9 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 50 (2020)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 24
under 914 m: 9
Heliports
1 (2013)
7 (2020)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 102,729 (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 9 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 42
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 269,958 (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
E3 (2016)
ST (2016)

Military

EritreaSudan
Military branches
Eritrean Defense Forces: Eritrean Ground Forces, Eritrean Navy, Eritrean Air Force (includes Air Defense Force) (2019)
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): Ground Force, Navy, Sudanese Air Force; Rapid Support Forces (RSF, paramilitary); Reserve Department (formerly the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces) (2020)
the RSF is an autonomous paramilitary force formed in 2013 to fight armed rebel groups in Sudan, with Mohammed Hamdan DAGALLO (aka Hemeti) as its commander (he is also Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council), from the remnants of the Janjaweed militia that participated in suppressing the Darfur rebellion; it was initially commanded by the National Intelligence and Security Service, then came under the direct command of former president Omar al-BASHIR, who boosted the RSF as his own personal security force; the RSF has been accused of committing rights abuses against civilians; it is also reportedly involved in business enterprises, such as gold mining; in late 2019, Sovereignty Council Chairman and SAF Commander-in-Chief General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN said the RSF would be fully integrated into the SAF, but did not give a timeline
Military service age and obligation
18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2019)
18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory or voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation (2013)

Transnational Issues

EritreaSudan
Disputes - international

Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting eastern Sudanese rebel groups; in 2008, Eritrean troops moved across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupied Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea

the effects of Sudan's ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states; Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Sudan, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence; as of early 2019, more than 590,000 Sudanese refugees are being hosted in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan; Sudan, in turn, is hosting more than 975,000 refugees and asylum seekers, including more than 845,000 from South Sudan; Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of the Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary; periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic; South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan

Trafficking in persons
current situation: Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor domestically and, to a lesser extent, sex and labor trafficking abroad; the country’s national service program is often abused, with conscripts detained indefinitely and subjected to forced labor; Eritrean migrants, often fleeing national service, face strict exit control procedures and limited access to passports and visas, making them vulnerable to trafficking; Eritrean secondary school children are required to take part in public works projects during their summer breaks and must attend military and educational camp in their final year to obtain a high school graduation certificate and to gain access to higher education and some jobs; some Eritreans living in or near refugee camps, particularly in Sudan, are kidnapped by criminal groups and held for ransom in the Sinai Peninsula and Libya, where they are subjected to forced labor and abuse
tier rating: Tier 3 – Eritrea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to investigate or prosecute any trafficking offenses or to identify or protect any victims; while the government continued to warn citizens of the dangers of human trafficking through awareness-raising events and poster campaigns, authorities lacked an understanding of the crime, conflating trafficking with transnational migration; Eritrea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2015)
current situation: Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or who are internally displaced, or refugees are vulnerable to domestic servitude in country, as well as domestic servitude and sex trafficking abroad; migrants from East and West Africa, South Sudan, Syria, and Nigeria smuggled into or through Sudan are vulnerable to exploitation; Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Filipino women are subjected to domestic servitude in Sudanese homes, and East African and possibly Thai women are forced into prostitution in Sudan; Sudanese children continue to be recruited and used as combatants by government forces and armed groups
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government increased its efforts to publically address and prevent trafficking, established a national anti-trafficking council, and began drafting a national action plan against trafficking; the government acknowledges cross-border trafficking but still denies the existence of forced labor, sex trafficking, and the recruitment of child soldiers domestically; law enforcement and judicial officials struggled to apply the national anti-trafficking law, often relying on other statutes with lesser penalties; authorities did not use systematic procedure to identify victims or refer them to care and relied on international organizations and domestic groups to provide protective services; some foreign victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration or prostitution violations (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook